Edison patents the kinetoscopic camera, which takes moving pictures on a strip of film. To view the show, a person looks into a lighted box while turning a crank. This film is called a “peepshow.”
The Kinetoscope is perfected. The device is a cabinet with a peephole through which a person watches a film.
Edison Laboratories builds an early film studio in West Orange, New Jersey. The small building, dubbed the Black Maria, was mounted on a railroad turntable and pivoted so it could turn with the sun throughout the day.
Albert Londe makes successive images of a tightrope walker.
Louis Lumiere invents the cinematographe, a camera, developer, and projector all in one. Charles Moisson builds the prototype. It weighs just 16 pounds, allowing camera operators to travel the world and record events.
Fred Ott’s Sneeze becomes the first film officially copyrighted on January 7.
December 28 is the first showing of Lumieres’ films at Salon Indien in Paris. One film shown is The Arrival of a Train. It is reported that people in the audience were frightened by the sight of the training coming at them that they either shrunk back in their seats or even ran to the back of the room.
The Lumieres record what could be considered a news event — the meeting of the Societes Photographiques de France.
Woodville Latham demonstrates his moving-picture projector, which combines Edison’s kinetoscope with a “magic lantern.”
Louis Lumiere makes his first film with the cinematographe, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory.
Max Skladanowsky develops an oversized projector, the Bioskop, which gets its first public use on November 1.
On May 14 Lumiere cameraman Frances Doublier and Charles Moisson film the coronation of Czar Nicholas II in Moscow. The support poles for the platform gives, and about half a million people panic. Five thousand die in the stampede. The footage of the tragedy is confiscated and never seen again.
The first moving picture, featuring scenes of coastline surf, two girls dancing, and a boxing act, is shown at Koster and Bail’s Music Hall in New York City. Edison’s Vitascope is used to project the film to a paying audience.
The Darras camera is patented. It uses 45mm film.
George William de Bets makes one of the first cameras for amateurs; it employs 35mm film and includes a viewer, camera, and projector.
Alice Guy becomes the first woman director with her film The Cabbage Fairy. In the next decade, she makes 200 films using the chronophotographe.
August Barone gets a patent for an early device that records sound and image simultaneously.
Henri Brispot designs what some consider the first cinema poster for the Lumiere cinematographe.
On March 9, the first permanent cinematographe is installed at the Empire Theatre in London.
On June 29, the first American screening of the cinematographe occurs at Keith’s Vaudeville Theatre in New York City. Felix Mesguich is the camera operator at the time.
Georges Melies, who is known mostly for his A Trip to the Moon and its special effects, films people in the Paris streets for Place de L’Opera and Boulevard de Italiens.
Cameras record President William McKinley’s inauguration.
Felix Mesguich is arrested for not having a proper authorization to film — he was recording a snowball fight.
The Spanish-American War draws camera operators to Cuba, but they are shut out by the U.S. army. Since they could not capture the battles on film, many go into studios and create them using models and painted backdrops — the start of scale-model effects.
The English Prestwich camera is patented; it uses 35mm film.
August Baron and Felix Meguich set up a studio with Baron’s sound-and-image recording device.
John Grierson, father of the British documentary film movement, is born April 26 in Scotland.
The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company records a boxing match between Jim Jeffries and Tom Sharkey.
Englishmen Edward R. Turner and F. Marshall Lee record images through red, green, and blue filters and then project them through a three-lens projector.